My blog title pretty much sums this up...I'm from a small town. I love this town. It's so cute during the holidays with lights on all of the trees lining Main St. There is a great sense of community. I experienced that community first hand while my dad was deployed during Desert Storm. I was only 8 years old but the outpouring of love we received when he came home is something I'll never forget. We respect our veteran's and appreciate all of the men and women that serve in 1487th unit of the National Guard based in Eaton, Ohio. With all that being said, my small town has truly impressed me over the past few weeks.
My dad served in the National Guard for the majority of my childhood/teenage years. I spent more days than I can count playing basketball, shooting pool and running around like a crazy person in our Armory. We had a tank that sat on the corner of Main and Vine for over 50 years. In April, the tank was taken away with little to no warning. Our Armory is closed and the unit is being transferred. Because we no longer have an active unit the tank was taken away. It is currently be refurbished in Columbus and its next step is still up for speculation. We feel like we have been robbed of a landmark in our community. I know some people may think this is crazy. But, there is a Facebook group with over 3,000 members that will beg to differ. I understand there are protocols that need to be followed in this kind of situation. But, that tank was given as a gift to our community in 1957 for all of the men that served our country. It belongs to us.
I cannot tell you how many times I climbed on that thing. I'm pretty sure I even got to go inside once. Now we have a plywood cut-out to fill the void.
I wasn't here for the Memorial Day Parade but we took the opportunity to show our love and respect for the Armory and the tank. All 3 of the major news networks in Dayton were there to film the gathering on Monday. Despite near record heat, there was a great crowd and my dad had his 5 minutes of fame.
This article expresses the feelings of so many community members. One of my dad's oldest friends and fellow veteran even contributed despite living in California. Honestly, I think Jon might be more fired up than anyone! He isn't taking this lightly, no one is. Jon made the film Lt. Dan Band: For The Common Good starring Gary Sinise and is so incredibly supportive our troops.
We aren't asking for much. We just want what is rightfully ours. We want a landmark in our community returned. If not in front of the Armory than put it in Fort St. Clair or in front of the American Legion hall. Something. Somewhere. It belongs to this town. The Armory is one of the oldest in the state. It needs to be renovated in a desperate way. With the unit moving and the conditions inside the Armory not up to par, it will most likely go up for auction. I would hate for it to be torn down and if someone doesn't intervene I have a feeling that is exactly what will happen. I would buy it all if I could. That place helped us get through my dad's deployment and it's a huge part of childhood. I can't bear the thought of not seeing it everyday.
So, that's kind of town I live in and I'm proud to call it home.